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beshannon

Patek 5711 Nautilus in white -- long review

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Patek 5711/1A-011 review (very long)

I will begin this review with some background. I have been buying, selling, collecting and wearing watches for years. I have been seeking a happy balance in my collection and had never felt that what I had acquired was really right. Recently I made a positive lifestyle change. I began to eat better, exercise and lost 42 pounds. One happy side effect of this is feeling better and going clothes shopping. One unhappy side effect is that my wrist size shrank from 7 ¼ to 6 ¾. My tenuous satisfaction with my watch collection was hanging by a thread. Large watches were now gigantic, bracelets did not fit, and straps were on the last hole . . .

One day I happen into the Patek forum and begin to see pictures of the Nautilus. Why are people so enamored with this watch I wondered? I began to research Genta, looked at the AP Royal Oak, which I did not like at all and realized that my initial attraction with this design began with a Vacheron Overseas seven years ago. Still not convinced, I began to post, ask questions and finally see a Nautilus and a Royal Oak at a local AD.

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Like a meteor from space I was struck. This design is really cool; I was beginning to see the light. When it sings to you is a sometimes overused and little understood phrase outside the WIS community. The 5711 case shape sat perfectly on my wrist, the bracelet draped over my arm and hugged my skin like a supple velvet wrap. The watch felt sublime, the polished parts melding perfectly with the rest of the beautiful stainless steel casing.

Then back to reality! My pattern for the last few years has been to buy one watch a year. This is partially due to a loving, tolerant wife, up to a point! Also due to a lot of early flipping on my part, I vowed to be more thoughtful with my purchases. The price of this beauty was out of my reach even pre-owned. What to do? I really wanted a 5711, bad. It would be the capstone of my collection, certainly not a grail because I believe a true grail to be unobtainable.

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I compared, looked, pondered. Vowing to never settle, I looked at the AP 15400 and the Vacheron Overseas but ruled them out and focused on the 5711 as the object of my desire.

My wife provided the inspiration. Dont you have enough watches? Ouch, yes she is right, yes I do, you are right, I glumly acknowledged. What to do? After several days of pondering, the path forward hit me. I came up with a three step goal to achieve. Reduce the number of pieces to increase my rotation, reduce the size of the pieces I owned due to my smaller wrist and upgrade my collection with a higher quality watch. After a lot of great suggestions from the forum and my good friend Dean, I narrowed my sales choices to three pieces.

After several months, I raised the funds I needed. Now the final challenge, which dial color? Again back to the forum as I like both the blue as well as the white. I had tried on the blue but I like white dials so in reality it was a coin flip for me and likely would have been happy with either. The choice was made for me when the blue dial I had hoped to see and buy was sold from my AD and I waited nervously to see if the white dial would still be available when I would be there.

After verifying a time to see the white dial and getting a rather lopsided vote (although totally expected) on this forum, I went to see the (my?) white dial Nautilus. The anticipation was heavy, I was actually nervous, anxious and swooning a bit over seeing, touching and spending the money to get my Patek.

As the manager brought out the Patek box I could feel the tension building.

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As the box was opened I was giddy with delight. So beautiful, perched there in the neat little cutout of the cream vinyl and polished wood case.

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Immediately I knew I was going to take it but I wanted to savor the anticipation. I asked a few questions, waited to try the watch on, it was running, and the time and date were set . . .

Ok, Ill take it I said! So much for playing hard to get.

The watch so far has been running +2 per day. I needed one link out and the bracelet is robust and sturdy while being supple and refined all at the same time. The stunning white dial is a metallic, pearlescent white, not painted flat white. The blackened oxidized gold markers and hands* are sharp, crisp and clean which makes reading the time a joy.

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The white date wheel is correct and meshes perfectly with the dial. The lume is green, not white although the markers are white in the light and actually take on a blue hue in certain light.

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The display back reveals a marvelous movement, meticulously finished and beautiful to look at.

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My first hesitation came when I heard the rotor winding. The whizzing sound made my heart sink. Why would a high quality piece such at this make such a noise? I unscrewed the crown and began to wind. The same noise, I felt grinding. My heart sank. I quickly hit the forum and discovered that the zirconium bearings are the cause of the noise and all 324sc movements make the same sound. What began as concern now turned to joy.

The watch wears like a sports watch but feels like a dress watch when I even know it is on my wrist. The case sits beautifully just below my wrist bone, the case is impossible flat and low profile, the ears give it a nice balance.

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The clasp is simple but effective and also very low profile, which almost makes the reverse side of the bracelet flat. I enjoy not having a large clasp to drag across a desk or get caught on a pocket.

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I am finally at peace with my collection and feel a great satisfaction that I have added a Patek to my rotation. Once again, thanks Dean!

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Thanks for reading.

*Through a process called controlled oxidation (a treatment of potassium sulfide is applied to the gold, this oxidizes the surface, creating a black finish)

http://www.watchonista.com/3665/prof...111a-011-hands

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Congrats on the PP.. I wasn't a big fan of PP, always had a respect of the brand though, but you may have turned me, luv the passion you have... And the photos, wow nice pic's sharp looking bracelet... Enjoy in good health...

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What a wonderful read about a great watch. I love the white dial on Nautilus. Thanks for sharing your journey and review.

Just like Mike I'm interested to hear how you view the watch few months from now, after the honeymoon is over ;-).

Enjoy.

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